This morning, with a heavy heart, I informed Youth Chair Fitzgerald that I would be resigning as Deputy Chair of the Durham Youth Council and my seat on Youth Council.
As the founder of the DYC, I’ve spent the last five years working in various roles with the DYC including stints Youth Chair, Deputy Youth Chair and CEO. During that time I got to spend time working with some of the brightest youth across Durham Region. The passion that youth have shown for our organization and our region is something I never expected nor dreamed of when I started this organization five years ago.
Youth Chair Kyle Fitzgerald, who took over from me as Youth Chair in January 2014, has been doing a tremendous job as Youth Chair and I can’t say enough about his work ethic and devotion to the Durham Youth Council. Kyle has served with me on Youth Council for the majority of the past five years and has always been a strong voice of reason and a common sense leader. His team has been extremely effective at brining forward policy to Youth Council that is helping DYC connect even better with the youth of Durham.
I want to thank some politicians in the region who helped me along the way. Pickering Regional Councillor & Deputy Mayor, Kevin Ashe. Kevin has been a proponent of our organization since it began five years ago. Kevin has never shied away from his support for us and has always been willing to lend a hand especially when it came to raising money. Mayors Dave Ryan (Pickering), Adrian Foster (Clarington) and Gerri-Lynn O’Connor (Uxbridge) have also been key advisors to Youth Council and helped us sustain our rapid growth over the years. I also want to thank MPP’s Lorne Coe, Minister Tracey MacCharles and Joe Dickson as well as Regional Chair, Roger Anderson, who have always attended our events and have always brought a listening ear to the table. Last but not least is former Pickering Councillor & Deputy Mayor Doug Dickerson who helped me settle into my role as Youth Chair in 2011 through lots of wisdom, and guidance. Doug was also always there to help Youth Council raise money when it was needed.
I’m going to miss Youth Council meetings, my colleagues and all the youth across Durham I’ve got to know and work with over the past half-decade. This decision didn’t come easy but my schedule just doesn’t permit me to be effective in my current role and that isn’t fair to my council colleagues or the youth of Durham.
I’m confident that the Durham Youth Council is being left in better than great hands in Youth Chair Kyle Fitzgerald and I look forward to, down the road, serving in an un-official capacity or as a member of the Board of Directors.